Preparing for Hydroseeding


Landscaping is one of those tasks that many put in the too hard basket when the reality is a lot of your properties value sits outdoors.

Before we got our dog we had a perfectly manicured white stone path, she quickly turned it into her play pit and put stones everywhere. Combine that with the patchy blend of lawn/weeds and ankle rolling pits caused by the earthquakes, we decided it’s time we paid some attention to this area of our property.

Family front yard

We got planning and included a garden renovation in the mix when mapping out what we needed to do. We were under time constraints with winter just around the corner so needed to get moving. we started by stepping out the process so we knew what we needed and when

The process of replacing your lawn

⁃ Spray the existing lawn

⁃ Remove the path

⁃ Remove the existing lawn and top layer of topsoil

⁃ Build garden edges

⁃ Put a new layer of topsoil down

⁃ Compact

⁃ Hydroseed

We were completely blind to how extensive this work will be so I’m glad we did our research to get the process right but if I’m being honest we touched base with Canterbury Lawns nice and early and they gave us advice along the way.

It’s important you do the planning before you rip into it so you don’t have any surprises like the price of topsoil and how much you’ll need. We worked out our rate of topsoil being 50mm across the lawn so need 3 cubic meters, there are some great tools online to get you this measurement.

Turf Cutter Kennards Hire

Going to Kennards Hire for all our hire equipment was the best decision. Their team helped us find what we needed and I’ve never received such incredible customer service (honestly they shocked me it was that good). We got straight to work with a turf cutter that thing is a bloody good work out!!!

Once all the turf was gone we built our new raised garden beds to box up the gardens and create a border for the lawn. This was pretty straight forward just make sure you get timber that can be underground and not rot. Our tool shout out here was the RYOBI 18V ONE+ Brushless Planting and Digging Tool, it saved us a lot of work with the digging the holes for the pegs. We also realised at this point that our lawn was completely unbalanced to the level of the house so a good opportunity to straighten that up.

Woman Raking Soil

The laying and compacting of the topsoil was the easy part, I unloaded it into a wheelbarrow and Mooch with her meticulous eye evened it out. Once we were all done here it was time to call in Canterbury Lawns and get their crew in with hydroseed. This is like the icing on the cake – literally!!! They sprayed a mix of brown top, fescue, and ryegrass onto the topsoil and it’s all done in about 10 minutes! Their team also provided us with an aftercare sheet which is so helpful because all the info we found online varied from the weather we have here. Keep an eye on our Instagram for progress.

Hydroseeding small section


The Best Lawn Mower for Nana

Ryobi ONE+ 18V 33cm

On a recent trip home I was talking to my Nana about our new Ryobi 36V 5.0Ah 46cm Brushless Lawn Mower and how it’s a game-changer for our lawn, It’s light enough to lift over the porch and makes mowing easier than I ever thought it could be.

My Grandfather isn’t around anymore so Nana needed a mower that wasn’t heavy and was a piece of cake to use, so I got talking to Ryobi about the best option for her and we landed on the Ryobi ONE+ 18V 33cm Lawn Mower from Bunnings. It’s 10.3KG making it easy work for Nana to lift across the stones to get to her garden, there’s no petrol, no stiff cords, and no bulk so it’s ideal for her small 10x3m section. If you’re sporting a small section, this mower is the one for you.

Ryobi ONE+ 18V 33cm specs

  • 13″ (33cm) deck width
  • 6-year replacement warranty with online registration
  • Cordless
  • Lightweight with instant start
  • Compact storage and lightweight design
  • Single ONE+ Battery operation
  • 30min runtime on a 5.0Ah battery
  • 35Ltr catcher capacity

Our review

Cordless mowers are fast becoming popular with smaller sized sections and you can see why. Ryobi made this mower more convenient by adding it to their ONE+ family meaning the battery can be used across 80 tools! No cords, no petrol, and being lightweight makes for a much easier cutting experience. Unlike the usual case of the specs saying the catcher is designed to hold more and in fact, they hold less, this mower actually uses all the space of the catcher which is great for Nana because she only has to empty it once with her smaller lawn. I’m really impressed, I wasn’t expecting much because of the size but in all honesty, Ryobi has nailed the purpose of this mower, it’s too small for our lawns but it’s ideal for a smaller apartment, retirement flat and courtyards.

You can shop the mower here:

Get the battery for the mower here:

Real Home Series – Villa Revived

Avon Villa Kitchen

This real home has been a 5-year labour of love for an Oamaru based shearer, extensively restoring and reconfiguring a 1909 villa to its former glory with a few modern twists. Perched on a hill, blanketed with period villas that reflect the towns rich shipping history, this beauty has a view that very few have the luxury of having from their own home. We take you through a grand project in it’s partially renovated state that sparked our attention on Instagram @Avonvillaoamaru as Cameron shares the story of his Oamaru villa restoration project.

Cameron is in the process of removing all the plaster from the exterior and unearthing the stunning detail that was hidden years ago. He’s changed the floor plan in places and removed all wall linings to fully insulate the house. The proof is in the pudding when it comes to the detailing. Take note of things like stained glass, window pannelling, the lighting as Cameron has bought back the character that was once stripped from his home.

Who Lives here?

Currently just the wardrobes and a few paint cans, however, 28 year – old Cameron Nimmo, a sheep shearer from Oamaru and his Grey Hound have plans to move in over the next year as the reno comes closer to being livable.

The style & year of the home and why they chose it

Cameron always wanted a character home, the high ceilings, grand spaces and wanted a project that I could put his mark on. Location was a huge deciding factor, being a country boy the main roads and hustle and bustle of cities didn’t really speak to him so where better than the hills of Oamaru?!

The vision Cameron has for his home

Keeping with the age of the house is always front of mind when beginning any part of the reno and to restore what had been ‘modernised’ over the years so things like the plaster on the exterior needed removing, the floor plan needed to change to move the kitchen and bathroom. Anything new going in has to look like it could have fitted in originally. Antique auctions have been great for picking up great furniture pieces and also trademe for second-hand house parts. Cameron has plans to live in this house so that vision is important.

What made you renovate?

For insurance reasons, Cameron had to remove and reline the walls as they were all scrim. The Reno was a must for that reason and also to bring his vision to life. While the walls are off it’s the ideal time to upgrade everything but also inspired the removal of the plaster on the exterior of the house, revealing for the most part – weatherboards in good condition so a HUGE job but worth it. It would have been quicker to build new and possibly cheaper but that wasn’t something Cameron was interested in because there is something satisfying giving this place a new lease of life.

The original renovation was never planned to be at this scale (hence why it has taken longer) but Cameron has ensured that he keeps true to craftsmanship and does his best by the house.

Where do you draw styling inspiration from?

Walking through the renovation with Cameron, it soon becomes apparent that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to character homes. Drawing inspiration from older homes in the UK and heavily influenced by a teacher he worked with on a gap year in South Africa who introduced him to William Morris and all his designs. Cameron also turns to Pinterest and Instagram to plan and inspire his projects.

Down the hall, antique lights hang from the 3.4m ceilings that Cameron acquired from local auctions and he has quite the collection of furnishings that compliment the grandness of the aesthetic ready to unveil when the renovation is finished. The Kitchen which is a Pinterest dream come true has a beautiful tap sourced from Perrin & Rowe the brass lights he worked with the team at Design Federation to find and the cabinetry also includes a fully integrated Dishdrawer by Fisher & Paykel.

Any regrets?

“I don’t think I have any regrets, but if I was to do a similar project again it would definitely be a quicker process”. You learn a lot when renovating DIY, especially when doing a project of this scale. Cameron has learned a lot about old houses and the best thing is that they are not perfect, nothing is straight and it really shouldn’t have to be. It all tells a story and gives the house character.u

Oamaru House
Avon Villa

Favourite things about your home?

For Cameron the house is his labour of love, so he’d be lying if it wasn’t the whole project as it’s coming together nicely. The Kitchen painted in Resene double Foundry and crafted by a local joiner is very clearly a statement but the new flow of the house after knocking down a few walls and changing the floor plan avoids separate spaces like original villas had. The kitchen and living now flow and the spaces are going to be more liveable now making the function of the home more enjoyable.

Where everything is from:

Wallpaper Wallpaper direct
Paint by resene Black white on cieling and trims, Double foundry in kitchen and doors, exterior is Karen Walker periclacial Bluewith black white and tapa for the bottom trim detailing and Grey Friars for the roof.
Joiner – Rycole Joinery
Tiling and stone work – Nehoff precision
Kitchen lights and curtains (TBC) – Design federation
Kitchen flooring – Flooring xtra

A weekend in Little River

Silo Stay

Little River is a quaint township that lies in the valley at the head of Lake Wairewa, it was a thriving coach and railway stop in its hay day, today, it’s known for being on the rail trail cycle route, its heritage, the art gallery and the quirky Silo Stay accommodation.

Georgia and I have always driven through Little River en route to Akaroa and wondered what the Silo Stay would be like, the concept of 9 eco-friendly apartments, inside a Silo, really intrigued us so we were so excited when we were invited to spend a night in one

Silo Stay

On arrival, you’re greeted by a drop box that you use a pre received code to access the keys for your Silo. You walk into the village of Silos and were like school kids finding their bunks on school camp, eager to see which one was ours. Entering the bottom floor of the Silo you’re acquainted with a mechanics tool box style Kitchen with industrial fittings, a steel spiral staircase and can instantly feel the quality of the award-winning architectural design. The warmth from the heating is like a cabin that had the fire roaring for hours as it’s heated by a gravity-fed pellet-boiler that also provides hot water for the units.

The top floor fits so much into one space, a comfortable bed with word class views of the mountains and overhead you can pop the top up and stargaze as you fall asleep. We enjoyed a bottle of champagne on the private balcony as we listened to music played through a car stereo that’s connected to built-in speakers. Your bedroom shares the shower and basin in the same area. Oddly, the concept works, it’s something you never see but makes total sense for the space. Sounds good? Use our code for $40 off with shayde35

The Little River Gallery

It’s hard to miss the Little River Gallerywhen you’re driving through town. The unique design of the building stands out and what’s inside is just as much of a treat on the eye. The gallery that’s been owned by the same owner for 20 years is situated on the same site as a sculpture garden, gift store and Little River Cafe that always hums like it’s in the heart of a city.

When we visited we sat down for the best eggs bennie and coffee we’ve had in a while and had the time to relax outside as the town woke up, then head in to take a look around the gallery.

The Little River Gallery is the home for New Zealand talent to showcase their masterpiece and creation. Jewellery, canvas, prints and everything in between can be found here. The Gallery has monthly rotations exhibiting all levels of artists, while we were visiting the talented Lisa Grenell was launching her ‘Fantastic Beasts’ exhibition so we went along for a look. Lisa, for example, lives a humble life on a lifestyle block in Nelson and draws inspiration for her artwork from her animals, creating unique perspex reverse painted masterpieces!

After admiring/browsing for half an hour, Georgia and I went home with a print by Amber Smith and can’t wait to have it framed and up on our wall! We were pleasantly surprised by the two places we visited in Little River and found it to be a place where we can unwind and relax, enjoy each others company and embrace the slower paced atmosphere.

Little River Art Gallery –

Silo Stay –

Discount code for Silo stay through – “shayde35”

5 Fast-growing screening plants


If you have a fence that’s not too easy on the eye or your property is exposed to the road and neighbours, you’re probably looking for the perfect privacy screen to do the trick. Hedges are a great option because they add colour to your yard and are a cost effecient privacy screen.

Choosing the right tree for the job can be the hard part so we’ve been down to Southern Woods Nursery to check out what they have and put together a list of our 5 favourite screening plants for your home.


Bright-red growth tips on a compact, lush green shrub. Small white flowers in spring. New Zealand bred cultivar. Tolerant of a wide range of well-drained sites. Evergreen and hardy – the hands off gardeners choice!

A Photinia 'Red Robin' hedge after it has been nursed back to health.


A large shrub or small tree with attractive dense foliage and scented flowers. Hedges well for lower-tier farm shelter or suburban privacy screening. Excellent revegetation species. Tolerates wind, drought, frost and coastal conditions. Attractive to bees. Evergreen. Very frost hardy. If you’re after a good all rounder – this one is for you.

Pittosporum t. 'Silver Sheen' as sheered hedge. Mill Valley, CA


Attractive, fast-growing small tree with green foliage. Ornamental papery flower clusters in summer. Tolerates salt winds and dry conditions. Makes a great trimmed hedge or tall coastal shelter. Attractive papery bark. Prefers well-drained soils away from heavy frosts when young. Ake Akes are also evergreen and have interesting colours throughout the year with different shades of purple and green depending on your variant.

ake ake


One of the most popular hedging shrubs with large, glossy leathery green leaves. Has the benefit of sprouting away from bare wood. Becomes a small, round-headed tree if left untrimmed. Excellent shelter. Withstands drought and coastal conditions although performs best with regular irrigation. Trim in summer. Berries attract birds. Evergreen and hardy, if you’re after some brightness in the yard Griselinias are the perfect choice.


Masses of rose-crimson, bell-shaped flowers through summer. Popular for hedging. Likes a well-drained site in full sun. Larger flowers and leaves than other Escallonia cultivars. Evergreen and hardy, the escallonia is the most ornamental of the screening plants with its glossy leaves and bell-shaped flowers.

Escallonia Macrantha

If you’re looking for a garden centre with variety and expertise we always recommend heading to Southern Woods Nursery and talking to them. All of our plants have been purchased from them and have been a success from day 1!

Home Security – what is right for you?

arlo camera

Recently our house was broken in to and burgled, we lost family hairlooms, technology that enables us to be creative and earn income and the worst thing was our sacred space that we call home was invaded.

The one thing that would have helped keep our house secure or atleast identified the burglers is security. Security doesn’t just keep your home safe it keeps your neighbourhood safe too.

We’ve compiled a list of different types of security options so you know where to look and what’s involved. Ther’es so many different susbscription models and bells and whistles so we’ve outlined a few below. A piece of advice would be to check how much it costs to get all the benefits from your system.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

Protect every corner of your home with Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, a versatile wire-free HD security camera that lets you see, hear and speak to anyone on your property from your phone, tablet and PC. Adjustable motion sensors let you get the ideal setting for you and your home. With instant motion-activated alerts, you’ll always be the first to know when there’s someone on your property. A built-in spotlight gives you crisp video around the clock, and night vision has you covered, even with the lights off. For added security, there’s a 110-decibel alarm to help you scare off intruders. literally, everything you need to to get the job done!

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
Camera1080p HD
Field of View 140° field-of-view
Night Vision Infrared night vision – will light up your whole yard
Audio Two-way audio with noise cancellation
Power 2,440 mAh battery, AC adapter (optional)
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection @ 2.4GHz
Local storage no
Cloud storage $5 – $15 for different levels of subscriptions
Price $400

Arlo Pro2 – Wireless

Arlo Pro 2 Wire-free HD Security Cameras have everything you need to keep an eye on the things you love from every angle, indoors or out. Arlo Pro 2 cameras are 1080p HD, weatherproof, have night vision, 2-way audio and best of all, run on batteries that are easily rechargeable. Arlo has everything it takes to make home security simple. Arlo Pro 2 comes with 7 days of free cloud recordings without a contract or a monthly fee, motion and sound activated alerts that are sent straight to your smartphone and a 100-decibel smart siren that can be sounded using the Arlo app. Arlo covers every angle to help keep your home safe and secure.

Arlo security camera
Field of View 130-degrees
Night Vision 850 nm LEDs, illuminates up to 25 feet
Audio Microphone, speaker
Power 2,440 mAh battery, AC adapter (optional)
Connectivity Dedicated 802.11n 2.4GHz WiFi network
Local storage Yes
Cloud storage 7 days free, 30 days $13.99
Price $800- $950 for two cameras and base station

Swann SWDVK-445804 Thermal Sensing Cameras

The ‘get the job done without all the fuss” You’ll always know what’s happening with Swann’s surveillance technology. Peace of mind comes from being able to see activity in Full HD, with easy identification of facial detail, license plates and clothing patterns. This systems comes with 4 cameras and a HUGE hard drive that can hold 2 years of footage on it. This option isn’ wireless but its very cost effective for a DIY security.

wann 4 Channel Security System
Field of View 102 degrees
Night Vision 100ft/30m or up to 130ft/40m in ambient light
Audio No
Power AC adapter
Connectivity Dedicated 802.11n 2.4GHz WiFi network
Local storage Yes
Price $500-650 for 4 cameras and base 1TB hardvdrive

Hikvision home security – wired

hikvision cameras, can’t be bought in-store as they are generally used commercially because of their quality (better infrared for night use, standard is full HD at 1440p and image quality is much higher as the standard is 8mp) 2 cameras for a smaller homes is recommended. Can be used without a DVR as they support sd cards. It worksexactly the same as a DVR would and takes up to 120gb which is usually around 30 days worth of recording and can be used via an app. No hidden fees at all, the only thing the client will pay for is the system install. Email for install availabilities.

Security camera
Camerafull HD at 1440p
Field of View 102 degrees
Night Vision up to 30m
Audio No
Connectivity wired
Local storage Support on-board storage, up to 128 GB
Price $800 upwards for 2+ cameras but no subscriptions

Real Home Series – 1960’s boho botanic bliss

Eclectic shelving

Opening the doors to her 1960’s home in Mairehau, Stacey Weaver takes us through the house she’s made a home. From the dried flowers in her kitchen to the most peaceful workspace that leads to a private garden, this home is truly a piece of art created by one creative lady!

Who lives here?

Stacey Weaver a 32-year-old Girl Boss, self-employed, photographer and creator of botanic art print, accessory and homewares brand Just South West, her boyfriend Lance and her gorgeous little grey cat called Blue. Stacey is an art lover through and through and it’s fair to say her home is a true reflection of that passion.

What style/year is the home and why they chose it

It’s a cute butter yellow 1960’s weatherboard house surrounded by a brick fence and gardens that Stacey has been nursing into her own botanical bliss. The house had a lot going for it, the central location, generous room size, beautiful french doors that she pictured opening onto the deck that’s now built, it was in Stacey’s price range and she could immediately see the value in a DIY renovation and moving on with some money in her pocket to do it all again.

The vision Stacey has for her home

Being a photographer and lover of all things art, light and bright is important for her houseplants to flourish. A marriage of modern boho within a traditional shell for the styling with a clean colour palette for re-sale.

What made you renovate?

When renovating, Stacey keeps in mind that this home is her first, she has been mindfull of renovating spaces that improve the homes function and flow. The deck was a must because it increases the floor plan and theres nothing better than basking in the sun with a few G&T’s.

Where do you draw styling inspiration from?

Stacey worked at a local homewares store, Copper + Pink, her time here obsessing with eye candy and art influenced a lot of the styling. Pieces in the home have been purchased mostly second hand via trademe, eco store, garage sales. In fact, only three items of furniture in her house have been bought brand new. (a sofa, her desk and bed) and collected since 2010. The amazing art she has on display is mostly gifted or swapped with friends in the industry. The eclectic mix of pieces come from a love of New York Lofts and their styling.

Any regrets?

Being organised helps with having no regrets, although Stacey wishes she used more expensive wood for the long shelves in the dining room but was trying to do on the cheap!

Favourite things about your home?

The first thing I purchased for my home were paper shades, so my oversized shade in my bedroom. Sitting on my new deck in the sunshine. And the little pockets of dried flowers hanging in the dining / kitchen.

Welcome to Katamama

Katamama Christchurch

Looking for that statement piece to tie a room together is time consuming, stressful and you always end up getting something “okay” but never 100% what you had in mind. Before we started our renovation in our little villa we were struggling with finding inspiration so we thought we’d go window shopping to see if any styles would jump out at us.

Wooden Pendant light

Walking down the stunning atrium at The Tannery, Georgia’s Hawke like eyes spotted a pendant we had seen in a magazine but gave up looking for locally. We hadn’t heard of the store “Katamama” so were intrigued to see more. As you enter the store you’re overwhelmed with a sensory haven of homewares, every corner is filled with something you could visualise in your home.

After about 30 minutes of analysing every pendant in the store, we purchased a wooden beaded pendant for our master bedroom, and it created the path to the bedroom that we have now. At this point, Katamama was a pop-up store so it was bittersweet because we knew we wouldn’t be back in because we were about to drop thousands on a reno and they probably wouldn’t be there after we finished.

Interior decor

Fast forward 6 months, we’ve finished the reno and they’re back…. And they’ve been shopping!! We popped in to see Penny (a former corporate lawyer who has since pursued her passion with her friend Teresa in being full-time Katamama girl bosses) who showed us around their store and their new finds. It’s clear when you look at these items that this store has been built on that passion and by people who have an eye for detail. I mentioned how hard it was to find a piece to finish a room, their items range from giant oyster shells that give a mantle some Hamptons glam, hand painted faux bullheads to start the New Orleans Mardi Gras and our favourite tones of wood and rattan to bring a little bit of Bali and Palm Springs to your home.

Swinging Chair

Their statement pieces come at an affordable price and make shopping at the main retailers pointless because they have something for every space, even rattan day beds for dogs! We’ve been working hard to achieve a botanical theme in our bedroom by using natural fibres like linen and wood. We knew where to go for our headboard, it was a tough choice between their leather headboards and the rattan but ended up going home with their AvalonRattan bedhead and it’s done exactly what they say, it’s bought the room together and become the statement piece of the bedroom.

Rattan Bedhead

We’re very fortunate to have Katamama in Christchurch, they bring many different styles that you can’t find here, and when you’re in store with them they calm the daunting experience of having to choose between so many amazing options with their own expertise at home styling.

Juju hat

The Mooch Style Christmas Wishlist – For the home

Floral Christmas Tree

Have a keen DIYer or home styler on your “to buy for” list this Christmas? We’ve got the best gift ideas for you.

This year we’ve created a list of our favourite items that should be on your gifting list (or the “please buy me list”). We’ve tried and tested the majority of the items on our list and know first hand how they compliment your styling with timeless design and quality craft or will genuinely help get the job done over the summer break!

Georgia’s recommendations

For the Christmas Lovers:
Bring the forest to your home with the scent of pine wood entwined with subtle comforting notes of Christmas spices.

– Lyttelton Lights

If you’re like us and don’t have a real tree this Christmas, Lyttelton Lights – Pine Forest is the perfect scent to relax and start the festivities this summer, buy online or from various stores around the country.
Lyttelton Lights candle

For the interior stylers
A simple coastal headboard to finish your bedroom.

– Katamama

Any piece from katamama is worth buying for your home, but the rattan headboards are worth every cent! They compliment all the hard work you put into styling.

Rattan Headboard

For the Botanic Babes :

Bring the beautiful outdoors inside with a hand painted print by artist Lydia Eden.

-Leden Design

A great alternative to attempting to keep your plants alive, Leden Design has an amazing range of nature-inspired prints.

Nature print

For the pamper princess:
Something special for someone special (and so easy)!
-Sugar Cube Co

The easiest gift to buy someone because it’s guaranteed love at first site. There’s chocolate and scrubs to keep you feeling rejuvenated and smelling like a smoothie.

Sugar cube gift pack

For the summer snugglers:
The perfect woolen blanket to cart around the house with you.

– Ezibuy Home

There is no more versatile accessory than a soft and plush throw, especially the Summit Wool Throw. Being Woolen it has temperature regulating qualities and is naturally insulating, can be machine washed, is non-allergenic and has natural elasticity throughout – perfect for lugging around in summer.

Ezibuy woolen throw

Shayden’s Recommendations

For the summer backyard sessions:

Finally, a hand crafted crowd pleaser for the summer sessions with mates.

–  Kubb Brothers

Kubb Brothers sets are handcrafted from sustainable hardwood and finished with protective oil so they’re built to last. It’s the ultimate summer game for backyards, campsites or parks and you’ll get serious cred when they see the quality of the set.

Kubb set

For the city dwellers

The solution to mowing a small lawn
–  Ryobi Power Tools

If you’re a fan of our Instagram, you’ll know we are big fans of Ryobi mowers. If you have a small property the ideal solution is this Ryobi One+ 18V 4.0Ah Lawn Mower Kit

Ryobi One+ 18V 4.0Ah Lawn Mower Kit

For the backyard beers

Nothing better than chilling out on a bean bag in the sun.

–  Ezibuy Home

Ezibuy Home have backyard styling sorted so you can relax in the sun all summer long –  a must-have for every outdoor setting that’s as stylish as it is comfortable.

Large Beanbag NZ


For the green thumb:

Have an ugly fence that you want to hide or are limited to space? Espalier your plants!

– Lock Jaw espalier kit

Lock Jaw Espalier kits are becoming popular with gardeners and landscapers to create compact and attractive tree features. If you have a limited outdoor area in suburbia this is ideal. This was on the list last year and we LOVE ours so have suggested again!
Espalier kit